delve a little deeper....
In honour of the Leveson Report being published today I am linking THIS blog post again.
Will be interesting to see the outcome and will anything change? I am cynical of course.
It's a tricky one, one person's idea of news that is in public interest isn't the same as others. It's very easy to say that journalists should remain squeaky clean, no phone hacking, no paying informants to pass them information and so on. Have we not all lapped up salacious scandals of the royals, pop stars and football players? Where is the line drawn between inappropriate journalism and genuine investigative journalism that uncovers corruption and wrong doing by those in power?
Do we need to know if a children's TV presenter who has made his fortune on being a squeaky clean family man has been bonking his best friends wife? Is it fair he might lose his job because his employers don's want to be seen as condoning his behaviour? Is that really newsworthy? Many people would say 'Well, it's his own fault for being a cad!' If the information came to light because his phone was hacked, do the same people cry out 'That's appalling! That's an invasion of privacy!'?
What if illegal practices result in a positive outcome? What if the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone uncovered where she was and found alive? That's probably a bad example, but you see my point.
The Daily Telegraph paid £110,000 to a mole who leaked documents about MP's expenses with regards to second homes. Is this 'good' journalism? That kind of information should be made public to the tax payers surely?
There is of course no justification in journalists hacking the phones of the victims of crime to get an exclusive story. There is no justification in exposing an individual's private life, and certainly not by hacking their phone or computer. Those who say 'Oh celebrities put themselves in the firing line!' should read this, adapted from Hugh Grant's Leveson witness statement.
One thing I did think about regarding The Leveson Enquiry...There is already a code of practice which the Press Complaints Commission produces as a committee of editors from the newspaper and magazine industry.
The Code has two purposes, as a solid set of principles for the press industry to follow and it gives the Commission a clear and consistent framework within which it can address complaints from members of the public. From what I gather it doesn't monitor the press, it only investigates when a complaint has been made.
If you read the code of practice, it's pretty precise and sensible. You only have to read any tabloid on any given day to find a selection of articles that breach these standards. Surely if these guidelines were actually put into practice the media would be a much more moral, fair place?